View Full Version : Comic Accurate COMIC ACCURATE: The Justice Society of America

12/20/2010, 02:38

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Rokk_Krinn has a go in the writer's chair as a guest writer, tackling the Golden Age Justice Society of America in this latest spiel of COMIC ACCURATE: DC EDITION!

12/20/2010, 02:39
Newsflash! Even as Hitler moves his armies across Europe, the dirty dictator has agents trying to strike at the very heart of the United States. Bad news Wilhelm Junior - the proud sons and daughters of America have strength of heart and arm you can never hope to overcome. Striking down Third Columinists with the power of right are the mystery men who've sworn to protect us with all their strange powers and prodigious skills - The Justice Society of America. Seen here the ghost guardian, the Spectre, and that shining beacon, the Green Lantern, are showing the cowardly Gambler why the odds aren't in his favour here. America loves you JSA and we'll never forget...forget...for-... End of tape.

The Justice Society of America - their very name, even in the 31st Century, brings forth images of true heroism and leadership. They were the first team of costumed heroes. Starting with their defense of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and continuing through to the 1950's, the original Mystery Men and Women created a legacy which continues through to today's Legion of Super-Heroes. The Golden Age incarnation of the team on Earth-2 were the peers and compatriots of the original Superman and on our Earth, they served to inspire our very own Superman. Our Superman...the Justice League...the Fantastic Four...the Avengers...Spider-Man...the X-Men...the Green Lantern Corps...we, of the Legion...even Captain America - none of us would exist without those original Golden Age heroes. Who were the original superheroes and where did they go? Join with me, 20th-21st Century historian - and today's guest-writer - Rokk_Krinn while we explore the early days of the JSA.


Modern Age Legal Heroclix Options

As usual, we will be using the classic strategy training game Heroclix as a way to take a better look at the powers and capabilities the original Golden Age team, the Justice Society, brings to the holo-table. The Planetary Chance Machine - thank you Tenzil for taking the hit - has determined that our cutoff date is December, 2010...the month of the 59th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor which brought the Justice Society fully into the primitive barbarism known as Earth's "World War II".

The Modern Age of that time period was a time of upheaval for an original Justice Society team. The set of "Origins" had just rotated out, in favour of the new "DC75" set. The loss of "Origins" meant the removal of some mainstays of the Justice Society - Sandman, Johnny Thunder, Dr. Fate, Wildcat, Starman and, team chair, Hawkman. The other Golden Age JSA members in "Origin" - Green Lantern, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman - were revamped and replaced by new versions in the DC75 set.

Previously, one of the known strengths of a Justice Society team - especially one involving the Legacy revival members as well - was ample PC to help those shared Defenses stick. The new Modern Play team loses almost all of the on-dial PC but introduced an entirely different style and strength to the team. Let's first take a look at who's on the Modern Play team and their dials.


an049 R Green Lantern
Team: Justice Society
Range: 8 :bolt:
Points: 145
Keywords: All Star Squadron, Gotham City, Justice Society, Mystical
(Attack) The Green Flame: Green Lantern can use Incapacitate, Penetrating/Psychic Blast, and Telekinesis.

Known affectionately in future versions of the team as The Big Dog, team mainstay Alan Scott was the original Green Lantern. Empowered by the mystical Starheart he is only tangentially connected to the Oans and their Green Lantern Corps. Multiple clix of Running Shot and Phasing/Teleport make Alan capable of positioning himself quite capably on the battlefield. His prodigious Willpower manifests in Indomitable allowing him to use that maneuverability to the maximum. Helping the original Fearless Man to strike out on point are ample Damage Reducers. While his Defense scores start respectable they do tend to veer off but that's why he has teammates to lend him greater values. Perplex and the Green Flame give him all sorts of versatility but one of the biggest draws for Alan is the trait, "Light the Danger". While the Batman may have embraced Gotham's shadows, Alan Scott instead burned them away...for the Dark Things Fear the Light! Thanks to "Light the Danger", the Green Flame can reach even the most cowardly skulker and mark the target for the rest of the JSA. Despite the less-sharable Defense scores and average Attack values, Alan's powers make him a practical "must have" on a Modern Play team.


aa056 U The Flash
Team: Justice Society
Range: 0 :bolt:
Points: 120
Keywords: Central City, Justice Society, Past, Scientist
(Speed) Cosmic Treadmill: The Flash can use Hypersonic Speed and Phasing/Teleport. When the Flash uses Phasing/Teleport, he can use the Carry ability.
(Attack) Supersonic Punch: The Flash can use Quake as part of a close combat attack (instead of a close combat action), but targets of the attack are not knocked back.
(Defense) Fastest Man Alive: The Flash Can use Energy Shield/Deflection and Super Senses.

Forget Mercury - even ol' Max - because when you want HSS on the JSA it's time to look to team founder, the original Fastest Man Alive. The Flash, arguably more than any other JSA'er, worked more to train the future generation of heroes as even before the JSA would later reconvene he was helping and training the newer Flashes. Obviously, the main point of his dial is his ample usage of HSS and with more than respectable Speed values, there are few places to hide from Jay. While his 18 Defense is great on a team valuing the sharing of values - it's quite easy for Jay to position behind a teammate to share the value and remain shielded until he dashes out and then returns to his starting point - his Leadership is far less of use in Modern Play. Frankly, the JSA members available to you are, for the most part, pricey enough the extra action will not come into play. Far more useful is his Probability Control - as noted before, he's the sole remaining early dial use for an original JSA team. It can be used to help those shared higher Defenses avoid a lucky shot or help the team's average Attack values hit the game's increasingly high Defenses. He loses Defend but on a full JSA team that power is of no real use for him and he does gain some "self-protection" with ES/D (a common power on the JSA) and Super-Senses. Then again, you are hopefully not putting Jay in a position to be attacked anyway. Don't forget his capability to Carry, though on a true original JSA team, the few people he can Carry are best toted around by others so Jay can instead bring his HSS to the fore. Supersonic Punch can be nice against hordes to inflict light damage on grouped smaller dials, though don't forget it won't break up formations like normal Quake.


cr059 U The Spectre
Team: Quintessence
Range: 10 :bolt:
Points: 234
Keywords: Detective, Herald, Justice Society, Mystical
(Speed) Ghostly Guardian: The Spectre can use Charge, Phasing/Teleport, and the Justice Society team ability.
(Damage) Vengeance: Give the Spectre a power action to make a close combat or ranged combat attack, replacing his damage value with the damage value of his target until the action is resolved; the attack is penetrating damage.

The original Justice Society has only one gun bigger than the Spectre and that figure is going to be played on far less teams. As such, Jim Corrigan and the Avatar to which he is cursed to host are likely to be the tentpole for your JSA team in mid to larger point games. Known for perpetrating ghastly vengeance upon wrongdoers, the Spectre does curb his more vicious tendencies early in his dial as he works with the Justice Society via his Ghostly Guardian TA. This allows him to bring his impressive Defense values - bringing the sole 19 to which the team has access in Modern Play - to his teammates. Flight enables him to carry teammates into play while his Giant size means he can put that teammate in front so as to not obstruct either of their LoF's. The Defense values, Impervious and Quintessence give him a sturdy bulwark early in the dial which is good because you want to keep him there as long as possible. Still, enough firepower brought to bear on the Spectre is going to push him past the point of patience and from there he stops being the Ghostly Guardian and truely becomes a Spirit of Vengeance. While it's not as easy for his attacks to hit, Outwit and Vengeance means when the Spectre does manifest to harm someone there's little else to stop the pain. Regeneration and Steal Energy not only make the wraith a persistent foe, they can calm the Spectre's anger and bring him back to his more superheroic image. Obviously with his price tag you aren't going to first grab for the Spectre in a 300 point game and may even think twice in a 400 point game, but when he's on the table he's one of the biggest threats in the game.


an012 V The Atom
Team: Justice Society
Range: 0 :bolt:
Points: 50
Keywords: All Star Squadron, Justice Society, Soldier
(Defense) Radiation Absorption: The Atom can use Energy Shield/Deflection and Toughness.

Seen here at a Hall of Origins visit by my team is Al Pratt, the only other true founding member available in Modern Play. He's also the newest having just come into play with DC75 (but don't remark on his short stint in Heroclix - he's a bit touchy about anything that could be misconstrued as a size joke). His...brief...dial is a bit of a concern but his ES/D combined with a teammate's shared Defense gives him a more than fair chance to survive long enough to Charge into battle. There he can inflict enough damage against "soft targets" to equal or surpass his points. (Personal bias less unmasked - I expected more out of the Atomic Mite and his amazing acrobatic fighting style and Atomic Punch). While he's not likely to be your power piece his cheap price allows him to nicely round out your build


an050 R Superman
Team: Justice Society
Range: 0 :bolt:
Points: 120
Keywords: All Star Squadron, Justice Society, Metropolis, Reporter
(Damage) Heroic Inspiration: Superman may use Leadership. If he rolls a 6, in addition to the regular effects you may remove an action token from him.
(Special) Leap Tall Buildings: Superman can use Leap/Climb. When he uses Leap/Climb, if he starts his movement on elevated terrain and ends on grounded terrain, he can then make a close combat attack as a free action.

The original and greatest hero of them all was an honourary founding member of the Justice Society and is represented here in the drill you know best - Faster than a Speeding Bullet! More Powerful than a Locomotive! And...yes, Able to Leap Tall Buildings in a Single Bound! Having a choice between the latter trait and Charge means you aren't likely to care about Kal not having yet graduated to "Up in the Air!" as he packs plenty of mobility and move-and-attack. Use his old pal, Golden Age Batman, to get Superman up on the rooftoop for some great synergy. Consistent values throughout his dial his dial is matched by another consistency - the potential to just keep attacking turn after turn. While you may not care much about the extra action granted by Leadership due to the JSA's point values, you're still going to want to roll (and not just for legality purposes). The chance to remove an action token from an Indomitable figure allows for a pummeling that just won't stop. His Defense and Damage Reducers do need some backing but his damage potential is unrelenting, especially from Click 2 onwards (and you need to give serious consideration as to whether you want the 11 AV and longer life or the Super Strength/4 damage).


an052 R The Batman
Team: Justice Society
Range: 0 :bolt:
Points: 80
Keywords: All Star Squadron, Detective, Gotham City, Justice Society
(Special) Rooftop to Rooftop: The Batman can use Leap/Climb. Once per turn, if the Batman has no action tokens, he can be given a move action as a free action if he ends his movement adjacent to a red boundary line.
(Damage) I Used Guns...Once: The Batman can make a ranged attacks as if he had a range value of 8.

(Yes, I adjusted his dial to read "The Batman".)

Despite being another honourary founding member of the Justice Society, the Batman hasn't yet given up on his darker and more dangerous days. Those expecting Smiling Bat-Fundraiser are going to be surprised by a mobile and lethal dial that, while short, packs a mean punch. The -2 AV that Transporter gives is off-set by a combination of Perplex and solid AV if you're wanting to use a hit-and-hide Batman. An early use of Rooftop to Rooftop followed up by a Transporter attack (finishing in Hindering, natch) gives Bruce a long reach. Mid-dial is particularly vicious with Blades and EW to cleave through tougher targets. Want to cause some real grief for an opponent? The Batman in base contact with an opponent while the Spectre stands behind Bruce - 18-19 with Combat Reflexes and the Spectre can still reach over to unleash the Wrath. I, honestly, do not feel you'll be missing batarangs with this figure (and, if you really do, at the end, the Batman picks up guns to become a mobile plinker.)


an051 R Wonder Woman
Team: Justice Society
Range: 0 :bolt:
Points: 100
Keywords: All Star Squadron, Amazon, Justice Society, Warrior
(Speed) Cavalry Charge: Wonder Woman can use Charge. When she uses Charge, she ignores opposing characters and hindering terrain for movement purposes. After actions resolve, any number of adjacent opposing characters may be knocked back two squares.

While not the first female superhero - not even the first lady on the Justice Society (!) - Wonder Woman, nonetheless, has a strong history with the team. Her first appearance? "All-Star Comics #8" - she was a back-up story in the issue where Green Lantern and the Hour-Man take a leave of absence from the Justice Society and new members Starman and Dr. Mid-Nite are inducted along with the promotion of Johnny Thunder to full membership. Having her roots with the Justice Society it was no surprise she was soon integrated with the team, ostensibly just as "team secretary" (as in the board member style) but, obviously, participating far beyond that. Her dial shows why you want the Amazing Amazon to lead a Charge (of which she has a full dial). Her strong and consistent AV's help her hit and the four upfront clicks of Super-Strength and EW mean the damage is going to have an impact. Speaking of impact, her Cavalry Charge followed by Quake make her dangerous on any opponent reliant on positioning. While her Defense is respectable, the ES/D helps get her into position to use that Charge but if that set-up takes too much patience, she's also the team's second Transporter for a faster hit-and-run. A pleasant surprise at the end is the rarer PC for the team, enabling her to maintain utility throughout the dial.

an011 V Mr. Terrific
Team: Justice Society
Range: 0 :bolt:
Points: 59
Keywords: All Star Squadron, Justice Society, Martial Artist
(Special) Fair Play: Each time an action resolves in which an opposing character has used Outwit targeting Mr. Terrific or an adjacent friendly character, Mr. Terrific may use Outwit as a free action, but can't counter any game effect that allows a character to use Outwit.

The last Modern Play legal figure for the original Justice Society of America is a later addition - both in terms of release (DC75) and his joining of the team. Interesting point of fact - while these days we wax nostalgic about The Man of a 1000 Talent's time with the team, in original publication run of All-Star Comics, Mr. Terrific appeared with them...twice. (The same is true of modern perennial favourite, Wildcat).
That said, new tales of his days with the team have shown why Terry Sloane really brought something special to the team - I heartily recommend the All-Star Comics special "mini-series" of 1999 for a look at both his personality and an amazing show of skill using a coin. The same is true of his Heroclix figure in that it brings a unique capability to the team - retributive Outwit in the name of Fairplay!. It's an interesting trait and it will take some use to maximize - you don't, for example, get much mileage out of OW'ing a damage reducer (as the OW goes away as soon as your turn starts) - but the caution and planning it will require of an opponent earns its' value. Mr. Terrific also brings much appreciated standard Outwit to the team at a relatively cheap cost. Your opponent will also have to choose what they fear more - his Outwit or the potential for him to base you with JSA-backed CR Defense, strong AV and damage that can pierce Damage Reducers. Chances are they'll choose OW as the bigger concern but it does return later in the dial and, in the meantime, punish them for their choice.

What teams are available to you for a Modern Play build? A couple options that come to mind:

Golden Age Trinity
*Superman - 120 pts
*The Batman - 80 pts
*Wonder Woman - 100 pts
Total: 300 pts
Coming in at the cheapest common build total, the Trinity offers massive mobility with two Transporters and plenty of Move/Attack options. While they don't start with the strongest Defense values they can, at least, keep each other consistent. Their shining point is plenty of offense with the aforementioned mobility and plenty of damage-dealing potential. A potential bane of their's - swarms - can be countered with Superman's consistency and Wonder Woman's position breaking (and the Batman's mobile shielding never hurts).

Men of Honour
*Atom - 50 pts
*Mr. Terrific - 59 pts
*Green Lantern - 145 pts
*The Flash - 120 pts
Total: 374 pts
A bit shy of maximizing usage for a 400 pt. build the team isn't likely to miss the 26 points too much. Alan will be your key player here for dealing with any opposing strength pieces so keep him alive. The others can focus on shredding the opposing team's support and using their powers to keep the Big Guy doing what he does best - laying swathes of green fire across the field. If Green Lantern can remove an opposing tentpole the rest of the team is more than capable of performing mop-up.

Justice or Vengeance?
*Mr. Terrific - 59 pts
*Green Lantern - 145 pts
*The Flash - 120 pts
*The Spectre - 234 pts
Total: 558 pts
Again coming in a little short for a rounded build the team packs two potent punches with Alan and the devestating Spectre. Flash's PC and Terrific's early Outwit help the main two maximize damage output and stay alive even as Jay rips up the opposing support lines.

Of course, if you want to go up to a 900 point build you can add the Trinity for a combination of strengths.

The Modern Play incarnation of the Golden Age Justice Society of America, as you've now seen, is less-reliant on PC and, instead, brings in unprecedented mobility. The only figure without starting Move/Attack capability is Mr. Terrific. Only 3 of the 8 figures are incapable of moving someone into battle (and Alan has TK for further positioning advantage). Ample Transport plus a fair share of Indomitable (or Quintessence) grants a long reach. Combined, those assets grant the JSA tremendous potential for first-strike. Helping them get there is shared Defense with frequent appearance of ES/D or Damage Reducers.

When you call upon the power of the Justice Society you'll show your opponent that you are going to strike first and strike hard, disrupting them before they can bring their strategy to bear. It's an appropriate amount of firsts for the First Team of Heroes.

Parts 2 and 3 of this intensive look into the JSA will be edited into this post as soon as possible!

Be sure to rep Rokk_Krinn for his in-dept scope of the JSA! I, for one, will be running a few incarnations here!

12/20/2010, 02:56
The JSA needed some more well-rounded figures and I believe we got some in this set! :classic:

Darth Sabre
12/20/2010, 03:08
I can't wait to run a team of the characters that appeared in All-Star Comics #3 (First Appearance of the JSA):

Flash (Jay Garrick)
Green Lantern (Alan Scott)
Hawkman (Carter Hall)
Sandman (Wesley Dodds)
Spectre (Jim Corrigan)
Doctor Fate (Kent Nelson)
Hour-man (Rex Tyler)
The Atom (Al Pratt)

Last time I ran a JSA team was in March of 2008 and it was this team:

This team is from an issue of Justice League of America (#82). Let me know what you think:

E-2 Superman w/ Shellhead, Fortitude, & Protected
Dr. Fate LE (BIBTB) w/ Coordination
Sandman U w/ Coordination
Johnny Thunder LE w/ Coordination
Green Lantern R (OR) w/ Stunning Blow
Flash U (HT) w/ Armor Piercing, & Mercenary
Dr. Mid-Nite E
Hawkman R (OR)

Total= 998 points

Cleaned house as Superman w/ all that PC was incredible! One of the most fun-filled teams I have ever run.

12/20/2010, 03:23
Nice review! I epsecially appreciate the multitude of options given instead of trying to fit every member listed onto a single build. I hadn't realized classic Supes, Bats and Wonder Woman were exactly 300 points together. Neat!

12/20/2010, 03:39
I can't wait to run a team of the characters that appeared in All-Star Comics #3 (First Appearance of the JSA):

Flash (Jay Garrick)
Green Lantern (Alan Scott)
Hawkman (Carter Hall)
Sandman (Wesley Dodds)
Spectre (Jim Corrigan)
Doctor Fate (Kent Nelson)
Hour-man (Rex Tyler)
The Atom (Al Pratt)

Aww yeah! I ran this team using Vet Hourman (since he's outdated) and Vet Hawkman (since rookie doesn't have TA) the day after DC75 release and they performed well even though Ares hit 4 out of 6 Impervious rolls! The Atom cracked his Impervious with his CCE. Ares did a total of 10 damage without even counting him swinging his axe! But the fact that I would keep a high DV out of range the chain gang got it done.

I had some feats, Protected on Hawkman is a must since his first click starts with ES/D and he needs to get close to strike. And Auto-Regen on Spectre to make him even more beastly. I almost lost because of Ares but the rest of the team was failing their rolls. In the end I had to give the MVP to Green Lantern.

His steady 3 damage, Psychic Blast nailed Ares and Monarch good. Incapacitate would keep Ares tied up when I would see that he had a monster AV and DV. And his TK came in handy twice in the game, add Indomitable and Perplex to the mix and he gets even deadlier. I definitely underestimated his dial when I first saw it, never again will I judge a figure by their dial.

Honorable Mention goes to Jay Garrick, his HSS & PC would help him get into position to help his teammates get those critical hits in. By the end he hit Willpower and he just couldn't be caught.

A lot of PC makes this team formidable and positioning them is the key.

12/20/2010, 03:40
I'll miss using you rookie Shazam!

12/20/2010, 06:45
The JSA is probably my favorite team to play. I am looking forward to playing the new figures as soon as I get an Alan Scott.

12/20/2010, 10:44
Great write up! I'm hoping we get an All Star Squadron ATA some time soon.....

12/20/2010, 10:45
I ran a Gotham City Keyword Team the other day that had all the new Gotham City people, which of course includes "The Batman" and "Alan Scott" and I was impressed with both of them. I do not actually miss the Batman TA on "The Batman" as I was thinking I would. I used the hyper sonic lite once or twice but because of the 7 movement it didn't help out much. What DID help out was the Transporter ability to carry people. With Gotham having a lack of carry pieces that really helped more than you can know.

I look forward to getting my Superman SR in the mail this week and being able to play him on Thursday. This article had made me want to play JSA instead of my white Lanterns now. I had done an All Star Squadron and most of those will transfer over thanks so much!!!

12/20/2010, 10:52
I can't wait to run a team of the characters that appeared in All-Star Comics #3 (First Appearance of the JSA):

Flash (Jay Garrick)
Green Lantern (Alan Scott)
Hawkman (Carter Hall)
Sandman (Wesley Dodds)
Spectre (Jim Corrigan)
Doctor Fate (Kent Nelson)
Hour-man (Rex Tyler)
The Atom (Al Pratt)

You're missing two "members". Wait until Part 2 to find out who. ;)

12/20/2010, 12:26
You're missing two "members". Wait until Part 2 to find out who. ;)

Say, you might be on to something.

I wish I had the Alan Scott Green Lantern SR from DC75.

12/20/2010, 13:07
I actually passed on all of the Modern Age All-Star Squadron pieces, including Flash from AA. I must admit ... after reading this Rokk I must admit your excitment is infectious :) It makes me want to snag more of them. I wish they didn't make so many SR's :(

12/20/2010, 13:18
I've seen that Golden Age Trinity before...

Ultim8 Avenger
12/20/2010, 13:35
about damn time...

but i still find that the origins trinity is still fun to use...and still very effective!

12/20/2010, 15:41
Love the JSA.

Just need to get Jay from AA, his price has still been too high compared to his value.

12/20/2010, 23:33
I just got the new Allen Scott and i cant wait to play him. I also just got the Queen chase! JSA is the best

12/21/2010, 10:46
Love the JSA.

Just need to get Jay from AA, his price has still been too high compared to his value.

You won't say that once you play him. Unless you mean his buying price?

12/21/2010, 15:43
You're missing two "members". Wait until Part 2 to find out who. ;)

Why, none other than Johnny Thunder (And his extraordinary pal Thunderbolt, of course!) and Ma Hunkle, the flabbergasting Red Tornado, courtesy of Shelly Moldoff! Can't forget those three!

Darth Sabre
12/21/2010, 17:00
You're missing two "members". Wait until Part 2 to find out who. ;)

I assume you mean Ma Hunkle and Johnny Thunder?

12/21/2010, 21:51
I assume you mean Ma Hunkle and Johnny Thunder?

It will be a couple of more days to find out. Rokk has a family emergency to attend to that will delay his posting up Parts 2 and 3 of this in depth and fasinacting article.

Darth Sabre
12/22/2010, 01:07
It will be a couple of more days to find out. Rokk has a family emergency to attend to that will delay his posting up Parts 2 and 3 of this in depth and fasinacting article.

That's cool. I already knew what he meant. But I just tend to focus on the cover...;)
Hope everthing goes well for you and your family Rokk. can't wait to see the rest of the articles.

12/29/2010, 01:07
Love the article AND the JSA!
Here is my version of 3 Golden Age JSA teams, each around 500 points -


Can't wait to try them out!:grin:

12/30/2010, 22:22
why isn't the SR Shazam/Black Adam in this articale, prob, hypersonic and impervious, that guy is a tank, although I assume he'll be in part 2 or 3

12/31/2010, 12:52
why isn't the SR Shazam/Black Adam in this articale, prob, hypersonic and impervious, that guy is a tank, although I assume he'll be in part 2 or 3

Because the article is about the Golden Age (in comics, not Clix formats) JSA. Black Adam and Captain Marvel joined the team much later, long after the Golden Age had ceased to be.

01/05/2011, 11:08
To those you said JSA is awesome and the best i have this to say:

You are absolutely and undeniable correct. Best team ever. Just ask Dr. Mid-nite + Shazam or The 300 point Golden age Trinity. Or any of them